Jess Clemons

Jess Clemons

 Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
BandFolkAcoustic

2008 Burlington, VT Singer/Songwriter Contest Winner. Smokey, soulful, one-of-a-kind vocals backed by solid, sultry piano or acoustic guitar. Well-crafted story songs sung in her sweet tenor. When this girl takes to the stage, even the rowdy bar crowd stops to listen.

Biography

Jess Clemons is a touring singer/songwriter based in Nantucket, MA and Baja California Sur, Mexico. A Vermont native and traveler at heart, she has toured the heck out of small venues in North America. After music school in Nova Scotia (2002-2007) and extensive Canadian touring, she came home to her New England roots - to a summer gardening job and regular gigs on Nantucket Island. She built up a great local fanbase in both Nantucket, MA and central Vermont, playing small tours around New England. She has also toured south to Atlanta, GA, and out to the west coast.

With wanderlust in her heart, and a love for performing for people, she spends winters hopping planes, boats and busses to fetches as far as Ecuador and the arctic circle town of Kotzebue, Alaska, often playing small stages and always collecting stories for song material. For the last many years, Jess has worked seasonally on Nantucket, playing nightly gigs and gardening by the day, saving enough cash to hit the road touring and spend winters in warmer climes. In 2010, she stumbled upon the town of La Ventana, a small fishing village turned winter kitesurfing hangout in southern Baja, Mexico. Mixing her passion for the water and outdoors with the music-loving community that she found there, she quickly gained a passionate following, playing all kinds of small venues and house concerts. In 2011 she was invited to play for a local school in La Paz, and this year ventured out to other nearby towns to play shows. "I think I was a long-haul trucker in my last life", Jess says about her love of the road. Two years in a row, she has made the trek via Subaru from New England to California, and down the Baja peninsula, playing house concerts and at bars along the way.

A few years back in her home state, she won the 2008 Burlington Acoustic Singer/Songwriter Contest (November 2008), and took 3rd place winner at the Vermont Solar Fest's Singer/songwriter contest (July 2009), and was the 2nd place winner in the Flat Rock Music Festival's Songwriter Contest (North Carolina, Sept. 2007). In 2008 she toured with the cross-Canada Babes For Breasts Tour, a non-profit collective of female singer/songwriters using their voices to raise funds and bring awareness about breast cancer across Canada. She has had her music featured on several compilations, including MVY Radio's "Fresh Produce Vol. 5" along with the likes of Carley Simon and Tift Merritt. She's shared stages with Rose Cousins, Craig Cardiff, Amelia Curran and Canadian rockers Wintersleep, The Trews, and Joel Plaskett, among others.

Festivals: Vermont Solar Festival (July 2011 Songwriter Contest finalist), Nantucket Music Festival (Nantucket, MA Sept. 2009, 2010), Camp Jam in the Pines (Monreoville, New Jersey 2008, 2009), Ormstown Branches and Roots Festival (Ormstown, Quebec 2008), Nantucket Arts Festival (Nantucket, Massachusetts 2008), Nantucket Cranberry Festival (2008), Atlantic Music Conference & Festival (Atlanta, Georgia 2007), Flat Rock Music Festival (Flat Rock, North Carolina 2007), Club Passim's CampFire Festival (Cambridge, Massachusetts 2007), In the Dead of Winter Festival (Halifax, Nova Scotia 2007), Vancouver Island' Folk Festival (British Columbia 2005), Thundering Women's Music Festival (Thunderbay, Ontario 2004).

Jess can be contacted at jessclemons@gmail.com, or reached by phone at (802)498-7123.

Lyrics

Toronto Song

Written By: Jess Clemons

We've forgotten how to write a letter
And we've forgotten how to tell time
The man on the corner needs a fix and we can't spare him a dime
Well I need a coffee and I need a man
Can anyone with either of these things please lend me a hand?

At airport terminal three
Where luggage matches outfits
And all that seems to matter
Is where we're going on holiday.
A man on his cell phone say "Good luck with the sales, honey. Hope you come home with pockets full of money and we can sit on the couch and blow it away."

Well guess what?
The birds can't build their nests on the freeway
And we can't make our homes underground.
This neighborhood is built on wealth
When will it all fall down, when will it all fall down?

Jennifer grew up mostly indoors
She doesn't have much experience to her name
She lives in a one bedroom apartment at sixty
And never learned the rules to play the game
Her husband is a roofer who can't see to save his life
And she sits inside with crosswords thanking God for this life
Her bookshelves are lined with pamphlets on how to live it better,
The blinds pulled shut, afraid to see the light.

Well guess what?
The birds can't build their nests on the freeway
and we can't make our homes underground.
This neighborhood is built on wealth
When will it all fall down, when will it all fall down?

We've forgotten how to write a letter
And we've forgotten how to tell time
The man on the corner needs a fix and we can't spare him a dime
Well I need a coffee and I need a man
Can anyone with either of these things please lend me a hand?
Can anyone with either of these things please lend me a hand?
Can anyone with either of these things please lend me a hand?

Skin and Bones

Written By: Jess Clemons

He doesn't say a word
But he can tell a story just by the way his eyes wander
And he can tell a lie just by the way he sways from side to side
He can tell the truth just like a sooth-sayer in the sky
He can tell a friend just from the day they meet until the very end

Diamonds are hard to come by
So we'll stick to ordinary stone
And truth is hard to live by
Cuz' we're not just skin and bones
Yeah, we're not just skin and bones

I met him at a show
When he was passing through
He said "we better keep this quiet, keep it between me and you"
He said "I think you've got something worth holding onto"
And when he woke up in the morning
He disappeared into the blue

Diamonds are hard to come by
So we'll stick to ordinary stone
And truth is hard to live by
Cuz' we're not just skin and bones
Yeah, we're not just skin and bones

I never knew a man to be so warm and cold at once
But I know when the snow flies
I'm gonna want him here for the winter months
His words were hot as lightening
And his eyes were as cold as ice
I haven't seen him in ages but I took a bit of his advice

Diamonds are hard to come by
So we'll stick to ordinary stone
And truth is hard to live by
Cuz' we're not just skin and bones
Yeah, we're not just skin and bones
etc. etc.

Well The Tide

Written By: Jess Clemons

Maybe it's time that I let this all just settle down
And maybe it's time I let it all go
Maybe it's time I let this all just wash to shore
And maybe it's time for me to go

Well it's been a while
Since I've been home
And everyone seems to have had moved on
And I'm still sittin' here in the rain
Writing this song
Writing this song

So wash away everything that's been done wrong before
Let it rage until this storm has settled down
Let it all wash
Let it all just wash to shore
'Cuz I don't want this in my life anymore

Well the tide comes in twice a day
And when it leaves sometimes
I wish it would take me away
But for now I'll use its salt
To heal my wounds
And let the water wash my sins away
'Cuz I'll never be what it was that I dreamed of
And I'll never be able to settle the score
Everything's been taken away by these crazy winds
And I can't seem to let them go
I can't seem to let them go

So wash away everything that's been done wrong before
Let it rage until this storm has settled down
Let it all wash
Let it all just wash to shore
'Cuz I don't want this in my life anymore

...And I'm still sittin' here in the rain writing this song

Time

Written By: Jess Clemons

It's too bad that you're too blind to see what you're missing
and it's a shame we had to let this go
It's been a year since we've been huggin' and kissin'
and another six months before we hit the road together (hit the road together)

CHORUS:
Well time has her way these days
time takes her sweet self these days
and maybe I should too
just slow down
slow down and look around you

I was reading through a journal
From a few years ago
And I came across a letter from an old friend who was passing through and he said
"Be free in your mind if nowhere else, and save a little love for yourself"
(save a little love for yourself)

(CHORUS)

Well summer ended before we knew it
And grandma fell with the leaves this fall
And winter came before we were ready
And it took us all by surprise (it all took us by surprise)

(CHORUS)

Fade Away

Written By: Jess Clemons

I have been waiting, and I have been wandering too
I have been waiting for my heart to quit loving you
I have been thinkin' bout what all went wrong
and I have figured out that I can't figure it out in a song

Sometimes it takes a long long time they say for it to all fade away
Some days it's all I can do is just hope and wish a pray
that some day it'll all just fade away

I have been traveling, for a long long time it seems
Find a town and meet a man and fall in love
and what does it all mean?
'Cause in the end it seems we're on our own
I've got deja vue with the rising sun
I've got ten thousand miles to drive before I'm done
It's a long, long time indeed

Sometimes it takes a long long time they say for it to all fade away
Some days it's all I can do is just hope and wish a pray
that some day it'll all just fade away

I know it's been a long while
And damn, it's been a hard year
I wonder if you'd still make me smile if you were sittin' right here
'Cause I have been waiting
and I am still wandering, too
I am still waiting for my heart to quit loving you

Sometimes it takes a long long time they say for it to all fade away
Some days it's all I can do is just hope and wish a pray
that some day it'll all just fade away
some day it'll all just fade away
some day it'll all just fade away

Discography

2008 - 'Toronto Song' featured on MVY Radio Fresh Produce Volume 5 - w/ Carly Simon, Tift Merrit, Abbot Finney, Hans York.
2007 - Self released "Jess Clemons & The Cooperative"
2005 - Self released "Jess Clemons & The Cooperative Welcome Home EP"

Jess' songs 'For Mother' and 'Freedom Road' have been featured on two Vermont independent musicians' compilations:
'In Silver Light' - Vermont Music Library & Shop - 2007
'Otter Creek Brewing Company's Spring Sampler Compilation: 12 great bands for 12 great beers' - 2007

Set List

Original tunes played on piano and guitar with some tasteful covers thrown in for good measure :: Ray Lamontagne, Bonnie Raitt, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, Brandi Carlisle.